Ross Isherwood (left), Murray Chunyk, Jed Hyde, Paul Hicke, Trevor Partlow and Luke Lampard went to Fort St. James on Wednesday with a water tender and a structural fire fightng engine to help combat wild fires. File contributed

Ross Isherwood (left), Murray Chunyk, Jed Hyde, Paul Hicke, Trevor Partlow and Luke Lampard went to Fort St. James on Wednesday with a water tender and a structural fire fightng engine to help combat wild fires. File contributed

Six Victoria firefighters head to B.C. Interior to combat wildfires

The Victoria Fire Department sent a water tender and fire truck to Fort St. James

The Victoria Fire Department sent six of its firefighters over to Fort St. James to help combat wildfires on Wednesday.

The crew consists of Ross Isherwood, Murray Chunyk, Jed Hyde, Paul Hicke, Trevor Partlow and Luke Lampard, who traveled with both a structural fire fighting engine and a 2,500-gallon water tender vehicle.

The firefighters left after a call was put out by the B.C. Fire Commissioner for aid as wildfires spread throughout the province.

“We’re catching up to the issue of what we experienced last year,” said Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce. “This year we’re a little more proactive in requesting and deploying resources.”

Still, Bruce said that this is only just the beginning.

“The worse is potentially yet to come,” he said, “We’ll see how this next week plays out.”

At the time of deployment, the fire at Fort St. James was around 50,000 hectares, with most of the town area on evacuation alert, with 1,600 residents urged to evacuate.

Nearby, Shovel Lake was experiencing a fire of about 35,000 hectares, and a third smaller fire at Francois Lake hadn’t yet been addressed, something that Bruce said is simply a matter or prioritizing.

“It’s all about resource management, and that’s something we need to look at and update almost hourly,” he said.

The firefighters and fire engines were the first resources Victoria sent to the Interior this season, and also the same amount they were able to put forward last year.

“When they’re seeking resources from the Island, it’s a real indicator of how dire the situation is,” Bruce said. “We don’t want to leave an area unprotected.”

At the time of deployment there was no determined time limit of how long the Victoria firefighters would be out, but it was estimated at least seven to 10 days.

“We’re hopeful that resources can get a good grip on the fire situation across the province,” Bruce said. “We’ve also got our fingers crossed hoping that we’ll get a little rain.”

Firefighters from across the region have also traveled to the Interior to help, including two firefighters from Sooke, along with a Sooke fire engine, one from the Langford Fire Rescue and one from the Metchosin Fire Department were sent up to Fort St. James. Four firefighters from View Royal will head out on Friday morning, along with a truck, and fire chiefs from both Metchosin and View Royal will also head out shortly.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Victoria Fire Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Six members of the Victoria Fire Department have gone out to Fort St. James to combat wildfires. Here, the crew prepare their vehicles to leave. File contributed

Six members of the Victoria Fire Department have gone out to Fort St. James to combat wildfires. Here, the crew prepare their vehicles to leave. File contributed

Just Posted

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

Staff at Artemis Place Secondary were shocked to find that one of the student-built greenhouses on the campus was stolen overnight on Jan. 11. (Artemis Place Society/Facebook)
Saanich school hopes to catch greenhouse thief red-handed

Student-built greenhouses stolen from Artemis Place Secondary on Jan. 11

Rendering shows murals decorating the proposed tiny home community in the Caledonia/Vancouver street parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. (Courtesy Aryze Developments)
Tiny homes project on Victoria parking lot gets boost from council

Shipping container neighbourhood stems from Aryze Development idea

Jail cell - Reporter file photo
Two of Greater Victoria’s most notorious teenaged killers have parole privileges extended

Derik Lord gets overnight privileges while Kelly Ellard’s are extended

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

50 km/hr speed limit sign.
POLL: What do you think the speed limit should be on residential streets without a centre line?

Traffic on side streets around Greater Victoria could soon be travelling at… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Environment Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting 2nd chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
B.C. Coast Salish artist designs new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Most Read